The Sun Singer's Travels

Malcolm R. Campbell's World

Book Bits: Amazon’s lit mag, Ann Patchett, Steven Spielberg, ‘Sycamore Row’

halloweencatMy dentist often tells me that the more candy I eat, the better it is for his practice. “The candy companies help keep me in business,” he says. Perhaps he dispenses toothbrushes to trick-or-treaters along with a handful of good, tooth-breaking hard candy. I wonder what would happen if I handed out a book with every mini-Snickers bar. Would the kids read while they ate or would I find the books strewn alongside of the road between my house and the edge of the neighborhood?

Here are a few links you can follow while eating enough sweet stuff to keep your dentist smiling:

  1. News: Two women who survived Cleveland kidnapping plan book, by Kim Palmer – “Two of the three Cleveland women who survived years of imprisonment after being kidnapped by school bus driver Ariel Castro will collaborate on a book about the ordeal with two Washington Post writers.” Reuters
  2. harperlogoNews: HarperCollins Begins Selling eBooks Directly to Readers, by Michael Kozlowski – “Major Publishers tend to rely on companies such as Amazon, Kobo, Apple and Barnes and Noble to sell the digital editions of their books. Not content to exclusively buy into this model Harper Collins is now bucking the trend by selling eBooks directly to customers  and launching a dedicated e-Reader app for Android and iOS.” Good E Reader
  3. Quotation: “Being born into this family was the greatest thing that ever happened to me.” It just took me a long time to realize it and 40 years to write about it.” – Pat Conroy in a BookPage interview about “Surviving Santini”
  4. lastanimalReview: “The Last Animal.” by Abby Geni – “A rare short story collection that’s as coherent and powerful as a well-constructed novel. It begs to be read straight through rather than sampled casually. Although each story stands on its own, as an ensemble, their brilliance becomes apparent. They build quietly on one another, examining the same dark little corners of the human experience from vastly different angles.”  Shelf Awareness
  5. Feature: What 20 years of best sellers say about what we read, by Bob Minzesheimer and Anthony DeBarros – “What we read and how we read it has changed a lot in two decades.”  USA Today
  6. patchettInterview: Ann Patchett: How I Write, by Noah Charney – “The ‘Bel Canto’ and ‘State of Wonder’ author, whose new collection of memoirs and essays is This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, talks about her friendship with Elizabeth Gilbert and Donna Tartt, the short story renaissance, and owning an independent bookstore.”  Daily Beast
  7. News: ‘The Bully Pulpit’ Film Adaptation To Be Led By Steven Spielberg & Doris Kearns Goodwin – “Steven Spielberg and Doris Kearns Goodwin are reteaming after their Oscar-winning collaboration on ‘Lincoln.'”  The Huffington Post
  8. News: Facebook May Start Tracking Your Cursor as You Browse the Site, by Ellis Hamburger – “For some time Facebook has studied your likes, comments, and clicks to help create better ads and new products, but soon, the company might also track the location of your cursor on screen.”  Editor & Publisher
  9. dukeReview: “Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington,” by Terry Teachout, reviewed by Jerry Harkavy – “Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal drama critic and author of a critically acclaimed biography of Louis Armstrong, penetrates that veil with a portrait of a talented musician obsessed with a quest for respectability who was evasive and deceptive in his dealings with band members and other associates. Even his closest friends could only guess at what he really thought.”  The Denver Post
  10. Commentary: Why is the Ebook Business So Out of Sync with Consumers? by Edward Nawotka – “Let’s face it, do you really own your ebooks? Even as someone whose day-to-day job is covering the book business as a journalist, I’m not entirely confident of what I think I know. Or as they in the American South, where I live, ‘I can’t say I rightly know.'”  Publishing Perspectives
  11. fallingupwardReview: “Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air,” by Richard Holmes, reviewed by Cathrine Hollis – “Biographer Richard Holmes (‘The Age of Wonder’) has long been fascinated by the Romantics and science, and ‘Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air’ blends his two lifelong passions with a third: ballooning. In some ways his most personal book, Falling Upwards documents more than two centuries of experiments and explorations in aeronautics, anchored with a dash of autobiography.”  Book Page
  12. Essay: Quick: What’s the Past Tense of “Pet”? – On regular and irregular verbs, by Jessica Love – “I posed this question on my Facebook wall not long ago in response to my husband’s insistence that I was “saying it wrong.” Answers split evenly between pet and petted; confidence levels ran the gamut. Some friends mentioned that the more they thought about their response, the less certain they felt. A few eventually wanted to change their minds.”  The American Scholar
  13. sycamorerowReview: “Sycamore Row,” by John Grisham, reviewed by Stuart Shiffman – “A prolific writer such as Grisham always runs the risk of turning out a clunker. But he has the knack for finding topical themes, inventive plot twists and the appropriate criticism of the legal profession to make his novels entertaining and page-turning…. SYCAMORE ROW will not disappoint fans.”  Book Reporter
  14. News: Amazon Publishing Introduces Day One—A Literary Journal for the Digital Age – “Amazon Publishing today announced Day One, a weekly digital publication dedicated to short fiction—including work from debut authors and stories from around the world translated into English—and poetry. Day One will showcase one writer and one poet per week. ”  Amazon 

“Book Bits” is compiled my Malcolm R. Campbell, author of contemporary fantasies including “The Betrayed.”

PRE-RELEASE: Or your copy at Smashwords

PRE-RELEASE: Order your copy at Smashwords

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4 thoughts on “Book Bits: Amazon’s lit mag, Ann Patchett, Steven Spielberg, ‘Sycamore Row’

  1. melindaclayton on said:

    Interesting about Harper Collins. I bet this’ll start a whole new trend.

  2. I wonder how Amazon will react to HC keeping them out of the loop.

    • melindaclayton on said:

      Me, too. I wonder if they’ll sell in both places? It would make sense to continue to sell ebooks on Amazon, too, since that’s where most readers will be.

      • I think they’ll sell them both places. I don’t know whether they can undercut Amazon’s prices on their own site or not. Otherwise, I don’t see what would lure readers directly to HC.

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